Have an upcoming flight with your four-footer? You’re in luck!
Today we’re covering the basics of air travel with your furry friend! We’ll detail how to select an airline approved pet carrier for keeping under the seat in front of you, in the cabin of the airplane.
If you’re looking for info on checking your dog in the cargo hold of the plane, see our post on the best airline approved dog crates for cargo hold air travel.
Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers for Cabin: Quick Picks
- Prodigen Airline Pet Carrier [Most Affordable Airline-Approved Pet Carrier]: This ultra-affordable carrier includes four panels of mesh ventilation plus three zipper openings to give you easy access to your pooch.
- X-Zone Expandable Pet Carrier [Best Expandable Airline-Approved Pet Carrier]: This expandable pet carrier features tons of mesh ventilation and two expandable panels to give your pooch more room when needed.
- Katziela Pet Carrier [Best Airline-Approved Pet Carrier with Wheels]: This mesh-paneled carrier’s removable wheeled base allows you to tote your traveling canine around with ease.
- Sleepypod Air Dog Carrier [Best Luxury-Caliber Airline-Approved Pet Carrier]: Sleepypod’s carrier features luggage grade materials for top-notch durability. Fits dogs up to 17.5 pounds.
How to Pick the Best Airline-Approved Pet Carrier: Features to Look For
There are several variations of different airline approved pet carriers to choose from. Some differentiating features include:
- Wheels. Some airline friendly carriers have wheels for easy maneuverability, while others function more as standard dog backpack carriers or pet purse carriers, with handles and shoulder straps. If you have a weak shoulder, you may want to opt for wheels over traditional over-the-shoulder style carriers.
- Zipper or Velcro. Some carriers have velcro closings, while others use zippers. Velcro can be opened potentially by boisterous pets, but provides faster access. Zippers are more secure, but can be a nuisance.
- Ventilation. You’ll want to make sure that your airline approved pet carrier has plenty of ventilation for your dog to breath and feel comfortable.
- Pockets. Pockets are always handy to have on your pet carry on bag. Pockets allow for easy storage of toys, treats, and other supplies. Some airline pet carriers will have more pockets than others.
Best Airline-Approved Dog Carriers
You can check out some of our favorite airline-approved dog carriers below.
Please note that there is no one official airline approved dog carrier, as carrier requirements vary between airlines. However, all of these carriers have been used for air travel and should suit your needs.
Still, we suggest you always double check your specific airline carry-on dimensions with any carrier you consider ordering.
Looking for a carrier you can check in cargo during your flight? See our guide to airline approved dog crates for cargo hold.
1. Prodigen Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Prodigen Airline Approved Pet Carrier
A 3-door, bag-style carrier that’s budget-friendly and features a strap for easy toting.
About: The Prodigen Airline Approved Pet Carrier is a feature-packed carrier at an affordable price. We’re especially big fans of the four-sided mesh panels (ventilation is very important for airplane dog carrier), along with several zipper-opening panels.
- Airplane-Friendly Dimensions. Customers have confirmed that this carrier is accepted on most major airlines, including American Airline, United, JetBlue, Delta, & others!
- 3 Door Design. This carrier has three doors – a top zipper panel door, along with two side zipper panels, which makes it easy to slip a hand inside and comfort your dog when necessary.
- 4 Mesh Panels. Four sides of quality, claw-proof mesh panels for superior breathability and ventilation for your dog.
- Fleece Pad. Removable fleece mat on the inside bottom to keep your pup cozy. Can be easily removed and washes for cleaning.
- Pockets. Includes pockets for storing your pup’s treats, leash, etc.
- Inside Clip. There’s a small lead clip inside the carrier which keeps your pup safe and makes sure your dog won’t jump out when you open the carrier.
- Luggage Strap. Included luggage strap makes it easy to attach carrier onto your suitcase.
- Available in Several Colors. Comes in Grey, Blue, Green, Pink, or Purple!
- One Size: 17.5″ x 10″ x 11″; accommodates pets weighing up to 14 pounds
- The 4 breathable mesh panels provide plenty of ventilation
- Great quality for the price
- Compact design is easy to haul around
- Some owners reported the carrier has an odor
- The soft sides don’t provide much structure
2. X-Zone Airline-Approved Pet Carrier
X-Zone Airline-Approved Pet Carrier
An affordable, airline-friendly carrier with two expansion panels for extra room.
About: The X-Zone Expandable Pet Carrier is stylish, reasonably priced carry on dog carrier that can be expanded or retracted through the use of fold-out panels. It can even be collapsed completely for easy storage and transport.
- Foldable. Lays completely flat when unzipped to save space.
- Expandable. Sides zips down to provide extra space while sturdy wire frame maintains shape.
- Zipper Opening. Pet entrance has 2 zippers for easy access.
- Adjustable Shoulder Strap. Allows for comfortable carrying for you and your pet.
- Small: 17″ x 11″x 11″ (before expansion); accommodates pets weighing up to 15 pounds
- Large: 19.7″ x 12″ x 12″ (before expansion); accommodates pets weighing up to 18 pounds
- Pets love the “porch” that comes with this expandable pet carrier
- The frame features sturdy wire for stability
- Breathable mesh design keeps canines comfy
- It’s challenging to open the expander when your pet is inside
- Some reported the strap was weak
3. Sleepypod Dog Carrier
Sleepypod Dog Carrier
A high-end, all-in-one pet carrier featuring luggage-grade materials and a sleek design.
About: The Sleepypod Under Seat Dog Carrier is the whole package – it functions as a airline carry-on carrier, a car seat, and a dog bed!
- Flexible Size. The Sleepypod airline approved pet carrier fits pets up to 17 ½ pounds, but is also compressible to fit under different size seats on airlines or fold up when not in use.
- Sleek Design. Very well designed, giving pets maximum room without sacrificing sturdiness or style.
- Luggage Grade Fabric. High quality nylon outside with super comfy plush inside for a class A airline approved dog carrier.
- Easy Access. Both the top and ends open, making it easy to access pets.
- Multiple Colors. Comes in Dark Chocolate, Glacier Silver, Jet Black, Orange Dream, Strawberry Red, and Robin Egg Blue.
- Single Size: 22″ x 10.5″ x 10.5″; accommodates pets weighing up to 17.5 pounds
- Sturdy carrier that’s built to last
- Doubles as a car seat and dog bed
- Pet parents love the luggage attachment insert
- It is a bit pricey
- It’s bulkier than many owners want
4. Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier
About: The Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier is a soft, duffle-bag style carrier that allows for discreet transportation of your canine as a carry-on.
It’s a mid-priced carrier, not the cheapest on our list, but not the most expensive either.
- Removable Fleece Bed. Soft fleece bedding and rigid insert panel helps the carrier hold its shape. Both removable for easy washing.
- Comfort Your Pet. Exclusive “Pet Connect” zipper opening allows you to comfortably and safely interact with your pet while traveling – an excellent choice for airline approved dog carriers for in cabin travel.
- Shoulder Strap. Optional shoulder strap included is padded and adjustable.
- Multiple Zipper Openings. Several zippered mesh panels allow for maximum viewing and ventilation.
- Multiple Safety Features. This airplane pet carrier has locking zippers, seatbelt loops, and reflective strips.
- Lead & Phthalate Safe. There are no harmful chemicals for you or your pet.
- Multiple Colors. This airplane friendly dog carrier comes in Black, Mineral Blue, Rose Wine, and Spinach Green.
- Small: 14″ X 6″ X 8″; accommodates pets weighing up to 7 pounds
- Large: 19″ x 10″ x 13″; accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds
- Cozy fleece-lined interior for comfort
- Mesh doors provide easy access
- The extra “pet connect” zipper allows you to touch your pet while inside
- Some reported the carrier had an unusual smell
- Several owners complained about its capacity (only the smallest dogs will fit)
5. AmazonBasics Soft Travel Carrier
AmazonBasics Soft Travel Carrier
Budget-friendly, all mesh pet carrier that’s suitable for most domestic flights.
About: The AmazonBasics Airline Dog Carrier is an airy, affordable, duffle-style carry-on carrier with abundant mesh windows, providing extra ventilation for your pooch.
- Airline Approved Cabin Pet Carrier. Suitable for travel on most major domestic airlines.
- Flexible Frame. Springy wire frame with soft-sided carrier material flexes to fit under various seat dimensions.
- Straps. Includes both seatbelt and luggage strap for easy carrying and safe travel.
- Easy Entry. Contains both top and side entry panels as well as full mesh panels for ventilation.
- Small: 15″ x 10″ x 8.5″; accommodates pets weighing up to 8 pounds
- Medium: 18″ x 11″ x 10.5″; accommodates pets weighing up to 16 pounds
- Large: 19″ x 11.8″ x 11.5″; ; accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds
- The mesh panels provide great airflow
- Embedded fleece pad provides additional comfort
- Large model is pretty roomy
- The thin straps can be hard on your shoulders
- While roomy, the recommended pet size range appears too large
6. Katziela Pet Carrier
Katziela Pet Carrier
A telescopic handle and a removable wheeled base make this rolling carrier a hit at the airport.
About: Katziela’s Pet Carrier features a removable wheeled base for easy pet transport while still being airline compliant. Convert it to a tote or shoulder bag as needed with included handles and a shoulder strap.
- Ample Mesh Panels. Large mesh panels on the carrier’s top and sides offer plenty of ventilation and visibility.
- ID Panel. Clearly displays your canine’s information for convenience and safety during travel.
- Removable Interior Bed. Fleece bed keeps your dog comfortable or can be swapped out for your pet’s preferred bedding.
- Telescopic Handle. Easily maneuver the carrier around busy terminals with its accessible handle.
- Storage pockets. Carry leashes, bowls, and more within the generous side storage.
- Solid Coloring. This airline-approved pup carrier comes in two color options: Black and Gray.
- One Size: 19″ X 13″ X 15″; accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds
- Removable wheeled base makes for easy transport while still being airline-compliant
- Offers plenty of ventilation for canines
- Versatile, allowing for use as a wheeled carrier, tote, or shoulder bag
- The wheeled base needs to be removed for under-seat storage during flight
- Some travelers were told the bag was too big for their chosen airline, so triple-check requirements before booking a flight
7. Sturdibag Airplane-Friendly Dog Carrier
About: The Sturdibag Large Airplane-Friendly Carrier is another duffle-style carrier with multiple doors, straps, and windows for your canine’s comfort during flight.
- Lightweight. Made of very lightweight durable 600 denier polyester with flexible rods that help maintain arch shape.
- Comfortable Straps. Easy to carry with an adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap and leather hand grips.
- Multiple Mesh Panels. Several mesh windows for viewing and ventilation that can be covered as well for privacy or comfort for your pet.
- Safety Straps. Perfect to strap in airline seats or for car seat belts.
- Huge Color Selection. This dog carry on bag comes in 11 color options including Hot Pink, Lavender, Evergreen, and more!
- Small: 10″ X 10″ X 18″; accommodates pets weighing up to 30 pounds
- Large: 12″ x 12″ x 18″; accommodates pets weighing up to 50 pounds
- Cushy interior provides plenty of comfort
- You can choose between 12 different color
- Flexible shape makes it suitable for a variety of situations
- Only features a single door
- Only available in one size
8. PetAmi Airline Approved Dog Carrier
About: PetAmi’s Airline Approved Dog Carrier lets your four-footer travel in style with its modern design available in multiple solid prints and playful patterns. Sherpa bedding keeps your canine cozy, while a safety lead prevents pupper escapes during travel.
- Durable Construction. Made with quality 600D high-grade polyester.
- Ventilation. Mesh panels offer airflow and visibility for pupper comfort.
- Storage. Side storage pocket for toting pup accessories.
- Easy Access. Large top opening allows for quick access to your dog and cleaning as needed.
- Long Handles. Carry as a stylish handheld tote or sling over your shoulder.
- Multiple Styles. This airline-approved dog carrier is offered in Black, Chevron Teal, Floral Gray, Heather Charcoal, Heather Gray, Pink, Polka Dot Black, Purple, Stripe Black, and Turquoise.
- One Size: 17″ x 8″ x 11″; 12-pound weight capacity
- Available in a variety of fun, fashionable patterns
- Affordably priced
- Well-ventilated and durably built according to pet parents
- Weight limit suits toy breeds only
- Not as spacious as some other pup carriers
9. Sherpa Original Deluxe Bag
Sherpa Original Deluxe Bag
A Sherpa-lined pet carrier with mesh windows to provide the ultimate canine comfort.
About: Is your canine a cuddlebug? If so, he will probably appreciate this luxurious sherpa-lined carrier. The cozy foldable carrier features breathable mesh panels and a seatbelt strap for use while traveling.
- Comfy and easy to clean. Machine-washable Sherpa liner included to keep your companion cozy.
- Dual access points. Carrier includes both top and side door entry points.
- Soft, flexible wire frame. This provides a great combination of rigidity for safety and flexibility for tight fits.
- Extra storage space. A rear pocket for accessories is included in the design.
- Provides plenty of airflow. This carrier features mesh windows with locking zippers.
- Small: 15” x 8.5” x 10”; accommodates pets weighing up to 8 pounds
- Medium: 17” x 11” x 10.5”; accommodates pets weighing up to 16 pounds
- Large: 19” x 11.75” x 11.5”; accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds
- Super soft for canine comfort
- Machine washable for easy clean up
- Large zipper pocket for holding extra accessories
- Some pet parents had trouble with the locking zipper
- The mesh lining isn’t especially durable
10. Natuvalle 6-in-1 Pet Carrier
About: Naturuvalle offers this 6-in-1 pet carrier that can be worn as a backpack, front pack, shoulder bag, or duffle bag for plenty of flexibility. The sturdy bag comes with a fleece insert to keep your best buddy feeling his best.
- Incredibly flexible. Can be used in 6 different positions to accommodate your pup’s preferences.
- Built-in travel features. Comes with included seat belt loops for safety.
- Tons of airflow. Features 4 breathable mesh panels.
- Additional safety features. Reflective stitching for nighttime visibility.
- Multiple size options. This carrier comes in 4 different sizes to suit a variety of pets.
- Extra Small: 14” x 8.3” x 8.3”; accommodates pets weighing up to 8 pounds
- Small: 16.5” x 9” x 11.4”; accommodates pets weighing up to 16 pounds
- Medium: 18.5” x 10.2” x 11.8”; accommodates pets weighing up to 18 pounds
- Large: 20.8” x 11” x 14.3”; accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds
- Works in your choice of 6 different configurations
- Available in 4 different sizes
- Several owners praised the carrier’s capacity
- The shoulder strap wasn’t super comfortable for all owners
- Carrier is a bit too rigid for some situations
11. Mr. Peanut’s Soft Sided Pet Carrier
Mr. Peanut’s Soft Sided Pet Carrier
A stylish, soft-sided pet carrier with mesh panels and a fleece lining for comfort.
About: Mr. Peanut’s soft pet carrier is perfect for puppies with its compact size, waterproof bottom panel and built-in seatbelt. This carrier will keep your precious puppy comfortable with its fleece-lined bedding.
- Tons of airflow. Breathable mesh on all sides to provide plenty of ventilation.
- Leak-resistant bottom. Included waterproof bottom panel insert will stop leaks pronto.
- Great-looking colors. Bag is available in 5 different stylish color options.
- Bonus safety features. Comes with built-in seat belts for car travel.
- Great for tight spaces. This carrier features a flexible, soft-sided design.
- One Size: 18″ x 10.4″ x 11″; accommodates pets weighing up to 15 pounds
- Waterproof bottom panel helps prevent leaks and messes
- Comes with a number of helpful features like the embedded ID tag, stylish exterior, and skid proof bottom
- Can be attached to luggage for additional convenience
- Mesh panels won’t stand up to clawing canines
- The shoulder strap isn’t strong enough for heavy dogs
12. Morpilot Pet Travel Bag
About: If you’re ready to venture out with your best buddy, this carrier and travel accessories from Morpilot is certainly worth exploring. The foldable pet carrier also comes with a foldable water bowl and travel strap for easy pooch transport.
- Breathable design. Comes with 3 mesh doors for plenty of ventilation.
- Cozy interior. Comes with soft pad lining for maximum canine comfort.
- Safety first. Included inner leash hook to keep your pet secure.
- Easy to carry. Comes with a compatible shoulder strap and portable water bowl.
- Stays put. Anti-skid bottom to prevent the bag from sliding around.
- Medium: 17.3” x 12.2” x 13.4”; accommodates pets weighing up to 15 pounds
- Large: 18” x 12.5” x 14”; accommodates pets weighing up to 20 pounds
- Comes with a collapsible food or water bowl
- The soft pad insert is removable and machine-washable
- Owners loved the carrier’s rigidity
- Some pet parents reported a faint plastic smell
- Rigidity makes it challenging to stow underneath a seat
Airline Pet Policy Sizing Requirements & Pricing
Different airlines have different sizing regulations and prices for jet-setting pets. This can obviously be quite a headache for owners, but we’ll try to help by outlining the policies of some of the major carriers below.
For the full list, check out our guide on the best pet-friendly airlines for flying with dogs!
UNITED AIRLINES PET POLICY
For Hard-Sided Crates: Maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5″ long x 12″ wide x 7.5″ high.
For Soft-Sided Crates: Maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18″ long x 11″ wide x 11″ high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm).
Pricing: $125 each way, plus an addition $125 for each stopover of 4 hours or more within the U.S. or stopovers of more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.
Other Details: Pets must be 4 months (16 weeks) or older to fly on United. Pets are not permitted on flights to, from, or through Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand.
Note: Soft-sided pet carriers are allowed to slightly exceed recommended since they are adjustable and be conformed to under-seat space.
For more info, see the United pets travel page.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PET POLICY
For Hard-Sided Crates: Cannot exceed the under seat dimensions of the aircraft – you must find the under-seat dimensions for the aircraft you will be flying with.
For Soft-Sided Crates: Can be slightly larger than hard-sided kennels if they are made of water-repellant material, are padded, or have nylon mesh ventilation on two or more sides.
Pricing: $125 per kennel
Other Details: Pets must be 4 months (16 weeks) or older to fly on American Airlines within the US. The exception is flying from or to Puerto Rico, in which case pets must be 8 weeks or older.
Carry-on dogs are not permitted in business class or first class due to lack of under-seat storage. They are also not permitted on these aircrafts:
- Boeing 757-L
- Boeing 757-EW
- Boeing 767
- Boeing 777-200
- Boeing 777-300
- Boeing 787-8
- Boeing 787-9
- Airbus A330-200
- Airbus A330-300
International Flights: While pets are allowed on most flights up to 11 hours and 31 minutes, no carry-on pets are permitted when traveling to:
- Parts of the Caribbean (Barbados, Jamaica)
- Parts of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela)
- Transatlantic flights
- Transpacific flights
- Australia (service or assistance pets only – no information available on carry on vs cargo)
There are also additional rules for certain regions:
- Mexico: Pets are required to meet government regulations on vaccinations
For more info, see the American Airlines pets travel page.
ALASKA AIRLINES PET POLICY
For Hard-Sided Crates: Maximum hard-sided carry on crate dimensions cannot exceed 17″ x 11″ x 7.5″.
For Soft-Sided Crates: Maximum soft-sided crate dimensions cannot exceed 17″ x 11″ x 9.5″.
Pricing: $100 each way
Additional Info: Option to bring two pets in the main cabin, when adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer. The pet counts as your carry-on allotment – this means you can bring your pet + a personal item, but not a pet + personal item + standard size carry on bag.
Allows option for two pets of same species and similar size may travel in a single carrier.
Airbus aircrafts do not allow pets to be kept in first class seating.
For travel to:
- Hawaii: Dogs or cats may be permitted, but since Hawaii is the only rabies-free state, there are additional rules about traveling to Hawaii with pets in Alaska Airlines (details here)
- Nome, Kotzebue: Must have proof of parvovirus and rabies vaccination
For more info, see the Alaska Airlines pet travel page
DELTA AIRLINES PET POLICY
Sizing Info: Maximum dimensions depend on your flight and the size of the aircraft – you’ll need to contact the reservations desk for exact info.
Pricing: $125 each way (US, Canada, Puerto Rico) / $200 (Virgin Islands, International) / $75 (Brazil).
Delta has recently stopped allowing pets to travel as checked baggage, but they’ve started offering another travel option for pets, called the CarePod.
The CarePod is a specially designed, triple-locking, GPS-equipped crate that comes with a lot of pooch-friendly features. Flying in the CarePod isn’t cheap (it costs approximately $850 one way), but it may be a good option for some owners.
Additional Info: Your pet counts as your personal item. Pets must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel, 16 weeks old if traveling to other countries.
With Delta, pets are not allowed to travel in cabin to/from the following destinations:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
Pets are also not allowed in certain sections of Delta flights:
- Rows 30-35 in A330-200 aircrafts
- Rows 30-43 in A330 -300 aircrafts
- Center seats in 757-200 aircrafts
For more info, see the Delta pets travel page.
Editor’s Note: Delta has recently changed many of their procedures and regulations for owners traveling with pets. For example, they no longer allow pets to fly as cargo on any flights on the Boeing 767, nor are pets allowed to fly in-cabin in the international business section.
JET BLUE PET POLICY
Maximum Dimensions: Maximum carry-on carrier dimensions cannot exceed 17″ long x 12.5″ wide x 8.5″ high and the combined weight of your pet and the carrier can’t be over 20 pounds.
Pricing: $120 each way, only one pet per passenger is permitted.
Additional Info: Pets are not permitted as carry-on for flights to/from: Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, the Cayman Islands, or Trinidad & Tobago.
For more info, see the JetBlue pets travel page.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PET POLICY
Maximum Dimensions: Maximum dimensions for carry on crates are 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide.
Pricing: $95 each way
Additional Info: Cannot travel as carry on for international flights.
Allows option for two pets of same species and similar size may travel in a single carrier. Pet carriers qualify as either: a) a personal item or b) a carry-on item. This means you can bring the pet carrier and a regular-sized carry on bag.
For more info, see the Southwest Airline pet travel page.
VIRGIN AIRLINES PET POLICY
Important! NO PETS are permitted to fly in the cabin with Virgin Airlines. Only service dogs are permitted in-cabin, all others must go in cargo.
Maximum Dimensions: Insubstantial information online – contact airline for details.
Pricing: Cost varies on destination, time of year, and size of carrier. Contact airline carrier for more info.
For more info, see the Virgin Airlines pet travel page.
ALLEGIANT PET POLICY
Maximum Dimensions: 9” high x 16” wide x 19” deep.
Pricing: $100 per segment per carrier
Additional Info: No more than two pets per carrier are permitted. Each paid traveler may have one carrier each. Only cats and dogs are accepted.
For more info, see the Allegiant Airline pet travel page.
FRONTIER AIRLINES PET POLICY
Maximum Dimensions: 18″ long x 14″ wide x 8″ high.
Pricing: $75 each way
Additional Info: Pets only travel in cabin, no cargo hold options. Pets are allowed on international flights to/from the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old to travel. Soft-sided carrier recommended.
For more info, see the Frontier Airlines pet travel page.
SPIRIT AIRLINES PET POLICY
Maximum Dimensions: 18″ x 14″ x 9″, and must be able to fit under the seat. Combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds.
Pricing: No information available
Additional Info: Two pets per container are permitted. Not pets allowed on international flights.
For more info, see the Spirit Airlines pet travel page.
Other Airline & Flight Details to Consider When Traveling With Pets
Flying with your pet can be a complicated endeavor, and there is a lot to think about. Just review the following list of important notes to ensure you’ll be prepared for a problem-free journey with your doggo!
- Most airlines require that dogs be able to stand up and lie down comfortably in their carry-on travel carrier.
- Crates must be in good condition and without cracks, breaks, or tears. Airlines may reject carrier if it is not in good condition.
- Each flight can only allow a certain number of carry-on pets per flight. Often, this number is quite small (often just one to two pets for first and business class seating, and four to five for cabin seating). Because of this, it’s important to book your flight as soon as possible.
- Pets must stay in carrier for the entire flight.
- When taking a pet as a carry-on, you may not sit in the exit row or any row where under-seat space is not available in front of you.
- Most airlines do not allow the transportation of snub-nosed dogs. If you need to get a snub-nosed dog from point A to point B, you may have to opt for a private pet transport service.
- Pets younger than 8 weeks not allowed to fly. Additional age restrictions may exist depending on airline.
- Pets cannot fly with unaccompanied minors.
- The CDC requires that all pets coming to the US are immunized against rabies and must be completed 30 days before arrival.
- Some airlines allow multiple pets of same species and similar size in one carrier, while others do not.
- Crates must be leak-proof and ventilated on at least two sides.
- Carrier regulations and requirements may vary for a single airline depending on the aircraft and the flight destination.
For more guidance on what you should know when flying with a pooch, be sure to check out our guide on tips to know before flying with your dog.
Dog Carriers for Airplanes FAQ
What size dog carrier fits under airplane seat?
The exact carrier dimensions required for an airplane animal carrier vary depending on the airline, but on average, you’ll want a carrier that approximately fits the dimensions of 18″(L) x 14″(W) x 9″(H).
What kind of dog carriers are allowed on planes?
Both hard and soft dog carriers are allowed on planes, placed under the seat in front of you where a personal item or carry-on bag might normally go.
However, many airlines have slightly different size dimension requirements for hard-sided crates, usually requiring that hard-sided crates be smaller. Soft-sided crates, on the other hand, can be slightly larger since they have enough flexibility to be pressed down slightly in order to easily fit beneath an airline seat.
While most airlines allow both soft and hard crates, we’d suggest using a soft-sided crate when flying with your dog in the cabin.
Do airlines actually measure pet carriers?
Usually airlines won’t bother to measure your pet carrier, so long as it looks like generally appropriate dimensions and it can fit beneath the seat in front of you.
Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane?
While the rules can vary depending on the exact airline, most major airlines will not allow you to buy a seat for your dog. This is because your dog must remain in a crate at all times during the flight — buying an extra seat won’t change this.
However, you could buy two seats, keep your dog crated under the seat in front of you during take off and landing, and then move your crated dog to the seat beside you at cruising altitude.
Can a 25 lb dog fly in cabin?
Probably not. Airlines won’t measure your dog alone, but they will take into account the combined weight of the carrier and dog. A 25 lb dog will likely be too large to fit in an airline-friendly carrier.
How strict are airlines with dog weight?
How strict airlines are on their dimension and weight requirements can really vary depending on the airline and the individual staff member you’re interacting with. However, we’ve heard from many individuals that many airlines are quite relaxed about the guidelines, so long as your dog isn’t way too large or big for the carrier and the space underneath the seat in front of you.
Can I fly on a plane with a puppy?
Yes, but the exact age requirements vary by airline. Most require puppies be at least 10 weeks old in order to fly.
Can I take two dogs on a plane with me?
Many airlines will allow you to take two dogs onto a plane with you. Some require the animals be in two separate crates, while others will allow multiple dogs to be in a single crate, so long as they have enough space to be comfortable.
Do you have any experiences with airline pet carriers you’d like to share? Tell us about your favorites and review your top picks in the comments section!
Want more ways to travel with your pooch? Check out our guide to dog bike baskets!